Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal, though in the United States, it is usually from adult cattle.  It is a favorite cut of beef for smoking (just ask anyone from Texas), though any kind of slow cooking method is necessary because of the nature of the muscle tissue: cattle do not have collar bones, so these muscles support a majority of the cattle’s weight (up to 60% or so) whether standing or moving.  As such, there is a significant amount of connective tissue that needs to be cooked thoroughly in order to make the meat tender.

Brisket readily takes marinades, whether dry or wet marinades; usually, with either marinade, it is recommended that the meat bask in the marinade for 24 hours: in a roasting pan, apply the dry rub all around or pour your wet marinade over the meat; cover the pan with aluminum foil or cellophane, place in your refrigerator, and rotate the meat every eight hours or so with a wet rub.  The recipe below does not require a marinade; however, for those who do not enjoy hot sauce, one of the two marinades would be an appropriate substitute.  

Ingredients:

  1. 6 mild yellow or red chiles or 3 yellow or red bell peppers
  2. 4 hot yellow chiles (such as banana or Hungarian wax peppers), seeds removed
  3. 4 medium-hot red chiles (such as Fresno or jalapeño), seeds removed
  4. 1 (4-pound) beef brisket, preferably from the point end
  5. 1 large red onion, cut through root end into 6 wedges
  6. 8 garlic cloves, peeled, or use minced garlic
  7. Olive oil
  8. Apple cider vinegar
  9. Hot sauce

SPICES:

  1. Light brown sugar
  2. Kosher salt
  3. Black pepper
  4. Any Dry Rub (optional)

PROCESS:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Arrange chiles on a wire rack on stovetop over a gas flame and roast, turning occasionally, until blistered and lightly charred. (Or roast one at a time using tongs, or use the broiler.)
  2. Stir vinegar, brown sugar, and 2 Tbsp. hot sauce (or more if you desire) in a small bowl; set aside. 
  3. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Season brisket generously with salt and sprinkle with pepper; cook, fat side down, until bottom side is deep golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Turn and cook until other side is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Add onion and garlic to pot and cook, reducing heat if needed, until lightly browned, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet with brisket.
  4. Remove pot from heat and place brisket in pot, fat side up. Pour reserved vinegar mixture over and arrange garlic and blistered chiles around.  (Note: if you have a favorite rub, sprinkle it on at this point.) Place onion on top of chiles. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Braise until brisket is fork-tender and shreds easily, 3–3 1/2 hours. Transfer brisket, onion, chiles, and garlic to a platter and let cool 15 minutes. 
  5. Meanwhile, place pot over medium-high heat and bring braising liquid to a boil. Cook until thick and syrupy, 10–15 minutes. Taste pan sauce and season with more hot sauce and salt, if needed. 
  6. Serve brisket, onion, chiles, and garlic with pan sauce drizzled over. 

SIDE DISHES: Cole Slaw, Potato Salad, Raw Vegetables (radishes, tomatoes, green onions, etc.)